Archives For May 2010

Marvelous Macau

May 31, 2010 — 2 Comments

Turbo Jet to Macau

When you mention the word “Macau,” usually the first thing that comes to everyones mind is gambling.  Macau has been touted the Las Vegas of Asia, it has even surpassed the income generated by Las Vegas from gambling.  But I say Macau is more than that, it has a rich historical, and cultural past.  Macau is just a ferry ride away from Hong Kong.  There are a lot of things to do in Macau.  To reach Macau, one could just take the fast ferry services, departing from Hong Kong (Shun Tak Centre), Kowloon (China Hong Kong Ferry), and Hong Kong International Airport.  Also there are two berth to choose from.  One is the Macau Ferry Terminal, and the other is the Taipa Ferry.  Or you could also take a bus or drive a car from Zuhai, China, to Macau, which is its border.  You could also get there by plane if you happen to be coming from paces other than Hong Kong, and Zuhai, China.

The Colosseum at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf

Upon reaching Macau, there area multitude of things to do.  One could visit The Fisherman’s Wharf, which has replicas of famous landmarks, such as the Potola Palace in Nepal, a Chinese Palace, The Colosseum, Victorian era buildings, Spanish village, and an African restaurant.  This is also where you can find the Babylon Casino, and the Rocks Hotel, which is coincidentally similar looking to the White House.  One could ride the complimentary shuttle, if you find yourself tired from walking.  One restaurant which I deeply recommend is the Camões Portuguese Restaurant, which is located at 1/F Lisboa 3-Building, Macau, to make a reservation, you can call the following phone number +853 2872-8818.  The staff there are so accommodating and hospitable, and always has a ready smile for patron, and guests.  Try their Pata Negra, the Chorizo, or the sinfully delicious Seafood Rice (Paella).

Macau Tower in Macau Tower

After The Fisherman’s Wharf, you can proceed to the Kwan Yin Statue.  The statue symbolizes the goddess of life.  Inside the statue, you will see some historical references to the goddess.  Further on you can visit, The Macau Tower, which houses the AJ Hackett Macau Tower Bungy Jump, touted to be the World’s Highest.  These are five things you can do, you can Sky Jump (fall face forward), Bungy Jump (fall face backward), Sky Walk X, Sports Climb, and the Mast Climb.  All these activities I mentioned are not for the faint of heart.  It gives you an adrenalin rush.  Plus there is a restaurant at the bottom, for those who are waiting for their friends, family, or love ones, to finish heir jump.

Ruins of Saint Paul

After The Macau Tower, one can proceed to Senado Square in San Malo.  This is the city centre, wherein old architectural marvels still survive to this day.  It is like walking in Venice, Portugal, or Spain, with it’s little alley ways.  There is also a magnificent church, which is, the St. Augustine’ church – Largo de Santo Agostinho.  One can also try the jerky’s and other treats sold along the way.  The most famous among these bakery that sells treats, is the Pasteleria Koi Kei.  If you are a foodie, then Macau might be heaven for you.  Further on one can find The Ruins of St. Paul, or Ruínas de São Paulo, which is a landmark of Macau.  The story of this ruins is this, it refer to the façade of what was originally the Cathedral of St. Paul, a 17th century Portuguese cathedral in Macau dedicated to Saint Paul the Apostle.

Grand Lobby of The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel

After the historical tour, let us go hotel and casino hopping.  Along the Cotai Strip lies, a variety of hotels & casinos, some already built, yet some are still being built.  The most famous among is The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel.  This is the largest among Macau’s integrated hotel, resorts, and casinos.  This property is also billed as the second largest man made building, only surpassed by the Boeing Factory.  The resort also serves as a venue for meetings, exhibitions, and conventions.  It is also a venue for concerts, and sports.  Among the artists, and sports persons who graced this property with their presence, are Journey, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Bjorn Borg, Andre Agassi, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Linkin Park, The

The Venetian Macao Tennis Showdown 2009

Pussycat Dolls, and Rain, to name just a few.  The neighbor of the Venetian is an equally famous name among the hotel clientèle, The Four Seasons Hotel Macao.  This property offers luxuries to a select few.  They sell high end goods as well.  Just opposite this is the City of Dreams, which is a collection of hotel-resort-casinos, including Hard Rock Hotel, Crown Towers, and the Grand Hyatt Macau.  City of Dreams, has activities for everyone.  There are shops that sell high end goods, then there are the casinos, there are a number of restaurants & cafe, and there is The Bubble, which is an immersive experience for kids, and adults alike, which will bring out your imagination.

If casino is not your cup of tea, Macau offers a

Macau Grand Prix 2008

different kind of gambling to serve a you.  You can choose horse racing or greyhound racing, at The Macau Jockey Club.  If you prefer to be pampered, Macau also offers a variety of spas, ranging from the high end to the affordable.  Macau is also clustered with watering holes, clubs, and discos.  If you are in the mood to party, then you should try the M Bar, at The MGM Grand Hotel, or Bellini at The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel.

Fresh from our visit to neighboring Australia, we headed to Auckland in New Zealand.  Basically New Zealand and Australia, more or less share the same custom restrictions.  I find New Zealand more of a nature lovers paradise, as it looks so pristine.

Sky Tower Auckland

We stayed at the Heritage Auckland, which is a great old style hotel.  Plus the hotel is near The Sky Tower Hotel & Casino.  Upon completing the formalities, we went to The Sky Tower.  We went to the viewing deck, and saw almost the whole of Auckland.  My son was so happy feeling like he was on top of the world, as seen in this photo.  We also happen to meet up with my wife’s friend from college/university.  After our little adventure, we went back to the hotel.  I briefly spoke with the concierge and asked him what other attractions can one do in Auckland? He told me there were a lot of attractions to be had in Auckland, such as swim with the dolphins, nature hike, harbour tour, mountain bungee, and a lot more.

Harbour Tour Auckland

The next day we decided that the best attraction, which we could do as a family is the harbour tour.  We toured the Auckland Harbour, as the picture show.  After this we were treated to the Haka, a traditional dance of the Maori, the native people of New Zealand. After this we had to go back to the hotel and pack, as we have to catch our evening flight back to Hong Kong.

We promised ourselves, that next time that we come to New Zealand, we would stay longer, and visit more attractions.

Sydney Playground

The last time we have been to Australia was is 2001.  We wanted to watch the Sydney Olympic Games, but was tied up with work, so we went there after.  We tried to squeeze everything into our weeks vacation.  We went to Sydney, then Melbourne, and landed in Brisbane.  I will begin our adventures, with Sydney.  We booked our holiday package through Qantas Holidays, which again to me is always a good choice.  You get to fly with one of the world’s best airlines, and stay at some of the best hotels in the world.  By the way, before I forget, I want to remind you that Australian customs doesn’t allow you to bring in milk or milk products, and meat or meat products.  We learned this the hard way.  Fortunately they allowed us to bring with us the baby formula for our son, who was 2 years old then.

Darling Harbour Sydney

In Sydney, we were staying at the Four Points by Sheraton, which was conveniently just besides Darling Harbour.  Upon completing the check in procedures, we left our luggage with the concierge.  We immediately looked for a supermarket to stock up on bottled water, foods, biscuits, and the sort, as we had an infant with us.  After shopping for these necessities, I told my wife that we should stroll nearby the hotel.  Australia is a bustling city like Hong Kong, where people are always in a hurry.  While strolling we saw that the Sydney Aquarium is just nearby, so we visited the aquarium, and was impressed by its size.  We also saw some

Sydney Aquarium

marine animals, that we didn’t see in Ocean Park Hong Kong, such as a Great White Shark.  There were a lot of things to see and learn in this marvelous aquarium.  After the aquarium we went to Darling Harbour, where we were fortunate to see and hear, Jennifer Lopez perform in a free concert, at Darling Harbour.  There were a lot of people who wanted to watch J. Lo, and the crowds were getting out of hand, so we decided not to finish the concert and leave, as we were fearing for the safety of our infant son.  Darling Harbour has a varied choice of restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, that you will be spoiled by choice.  While there we saw the Sydney Olympic ticket booth, which was still on display, so we had our pictures taken for posterity reason.  We also saw a banner for a water taxi tour along Darling Harbour, that we decided that we want to take the tour.  We learnt that the water taxi tour operates at night, which was fine with us.  We went back to the hotel, to rest up for our water taxi tour.  The water taxi tour, toured us around Sydney Harbour, Sydney HarbourBridge, and the Sydney Opera House.  It was a fun way to see another perspective of Sydney.

The Simpsons at Fox Studio Sydney

The following day, we were supposed to go to Taronga Zoo, but the instruction given to us for claiming the ticket was not clear.  When we reach the dockyards to board the boat, that was supposed to ferry us to Taronga Zoo, it had already left, and wouldn’t come back till the afternoon.  Deciding not to ruin our day, and our schedule, we decided to visit Bondi Beach.  Bondi is a wonderful beach.  There are a lot of people, from tourist, to office workers, and locals, wishing to soak in some sun, and some surf.  After Bondi Beach, we went to Fox Studios, a movie studio theme park.  We saw Titanic, the Simpsons, parades, rides, shows, and a lot more.  We decided to call it a day, as on our third day, we were supposed to wake up early to catch our flight to Melbourne.

New York Bakery Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

On the third day, we took our flight from Sydney to Melbourne.  Upon reaching Melbourne, we immediately proceeded to our hotel, which was The Swanston Hotel Melbourne, as we were tired from the plane trip.  We rested ourselves for a while.  Melbourne is a bit laid back, compared to Sydney.  On our first day here, we visited China Town, and other attractions.  We visited Melbourne Zoo, and Melbourne Aquarium.  Then we called it a day.  The next day, we visited Sovereign Hill in Ballarat Victoria.  According to the information we got, this used to be a mining town, which mined for GOLD! We spent the whole day there.  It was like being transported back in time, as the people were in Victorian style clothes.  Even the restaurant we ate in, the waitresses wore clothes that looks like it came from history books.  We also panned for gold, and since we didn’t get any, we did the second best thing, we bought gold dust in a bottle as a keepsake.

As we end our Australian experiences, as we only had 5 days, which includes the plane trips, the transfers, and others.  I will be blogging our New Zealand experience soon.

Homey Hong Kong

May 30, 2010 — Leave a comment

Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation Head Office

This time I am going to blog about my second home, Hong Kong! This is where I have been living for the past 17 years of my life.  And boy what a long time that is.  What can I say about Hong Kong? Hmmm? Well to tell you the truth, I have had a lot of memorable experiences here.  A lot of family, friends, and relatives, have come to visit my second home, to see what it has to offer.  If I am available, I give them the grand tour, something a tour you book at the hotel doesn’t give you.  But I usually choose the adventures, based on who I am tour guiding, if it is a younger generation, then it’s off to the theme parks, such as Ocean Park Hong Kong, and Hong Kong Disneyland; if it’s the middle generation, then shopping malls would be the walk of the day; and if it’s the older ones, I usually take a slow pace, and visit historical landmarks, and museums.

Giant Panda

Well, let’s start with Ocean Park Hong Kong.  This humongous theme park as the name implies, is dedicated to the marine animals, but they also have a lot of land animals to offer.  They also have an awesome variety of thrill rides, such as The Dragon (roller coaster), Crazy Galleon, The Abyss, The Eagle, Raging River (water log ride), and a lot more. The park is split into two sections, the Highlands, and the Lowlands, which is in fact two mountains, to get from one section to another, there are two options

Red Panda

you could take, either you ride the Cable Car, or take the new Ocean Express ride, which is like a thrill ride in itself.   Let us begin at the Lowland section, here you can find the Hot Air Balloon ride, at the Sky Fair, wherein you ride a giant hot air balloon. Also there are circus performances here as well, with a specific schedule.  Then we proceed to the 3 A’s, the Amazing Asian Animals, where they feature all of Asia’s unique animal biodiversity, here you can find the Giant Pandas, the Red Pandas, the

Chinese Giant Salamander

Giant Salamander, the Chinese Alligator, the Otters, and terrapins.  Plus they have also a collection of Gold Fish varieties, which is aptly named Gold Fish Treasures, and history of how the Gold Fish came about.  You can alsofind in the Lowland the Bird Theatre, wherein they have a show, featuring all of the majestic birds in the animal kingdom.  They also have a showcase of beautiful bird species.  Then there is Whiskers Harbour, which is specifically made for the children.  Here you can find

amusement rides, such as Merry Go Round; Balloon Up, Up, and Away; Frog Hopper, and many more.    Let’s head to the High Lands now.  Hmmm? Which one do you want to take to the High Lands? The Cable Car or The Ocean Express, each one offer an adventure of its own.  The Cable Car affords you view of the ocean, the mountains, and a general view of the Lowlands, while The Ocean Express, offer you an immersive ride, as if you are traveling by sub.  So which one do you pick?

Pacific Pier

Welcome to the High Lands, wherein you can see, experience, and learn about the oceans magnificent creatures.  Let us start with Pacific Pier, here we would see the magnificent seals, and sea lions.  One can also experience first hand to feed a seal or sea lion, as they offer a feeding time, wherein one can feed a seal or sea lion, for a minimal cost.  You can see how they gracefully swim underwater.  Next on the agenda is the Ocean Park Tower, this offers you a leisurely scenic ride, as the tower rises off the ground to

Atoll Reef

offeryou a spectacular view of the whole Ocean Park, and surrounding places.  Now, we head off to the Atoll Reef, which features varieties of fishes, rays, sharks, and turtles. Atoll Reef, shows the diversity of marine animals living in four levels of the ocean, from the shallows to the deep.  There is also the Ocean Theatre, where in dolphins, and seals perform for a massive crowd.  Here the interact with trainers, and guests.  There is a story to the show, which currently features Sea Dreams.  We also

Resting White Tip Reef Shark

see here the Sea Jelly Spectacular, showcasing the varieties of beautiful, and dangerous sea jelly’s as well.  We head off to the thrill rides now.  First on the agenda, is the Giant Ferris Wheel, then the Flying Swing, thenThe Dragon (roller coaster), then Crazy Galleon, then The Abyss (recommended for the thrill seekers), and then The Eagle.  This completes our Highland adventures, now we head of to the Tai Shue Wan Entrance/Exit.  We need to take the escalator going down.  This escalator used to hold the record being the longest outdoor escalator in the world, which has been beaten by the Central-Mid Level escalator, located in Central.  Upon reaching Tai Shue Wan, we can see the Flamingo Pond, and visit The Aviary as well.  This concludes our Ocean Park Hong Kong adventure.

Disney Train at Sunny Bay Station

Now we move on to Hong Kong Disneyland.  From the Hong Kong Station in Central, you have to take the Tung Chung Line, then upon reaching Sunny Bay Station, transfer to the Disney Train, which will take you to Hong Kong Disneyland Station.  Upon reaching exiting Hong Kong Disneyland Station, you will see a giant welcome sign, welcoming you to Hong Kong Disney Resort.  When you reach the center of the exterior of the park, you will see a fountain, featuring Mickey Mouse riding a big whale, you will also see Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Pluto.  At the right side you will see the ticket counters, and after that the entrance to the theme park.  You will notice a train station above the ground, and just below it a hedge featuring the face of Mickey Mouse.  After

Woodie and Jessie of Toy Story

passing the tunnel, you will be in Main Street U.S.A. section, and you will in the centre a cottage wherein you can have your photo with Mickey Mouse or other Disney characters.  A brief walk, and a right turn, brings you to Tomorrowland, which features Buzz Lightyear’s AstroBlaster ride (shooting game ride), Orbitron (space merry go round), Autopia (driving ride), Stitch Encounter, and Space Mountain (roller coaster ride).  There is also the UFO zone, if you want to get a bit wet, and cool down from the heat of the sun.  We head off to Fantasyland next.  Here you will see The Golden Mickeys (variety show), It’s a Small World (miniature ride), Madhatter Tea Cups (dizzying ride), The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (leisurely ride), Fantasy Garden (this is where you

Mickey Mouse & Us

can have your pictures taken with various Disney characters, such as Tigger, Pooh, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, and many more), Cinderella Carousel (Merry Go Round), Dumbo the Flying Elephant (Merry Go Round), Sleeping Beauty Castle, and last but not the least, Mickey’sPhilharmagic, this features an immersive experience as it is in 3D, and you will feel every part of the story as you get wet, blown by air, and an assortment of sounds.  Now off to Adventureland.  Here you can find Tarzan’s Tree House, Jungle River Cruise (a must experience ride), and The Festival of the Lion King, a live musical extravaganza, depicting the story of how Simba became the Lion King.  Off course a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland is not complete if you do not experience the extravagant fireworks and musical display held at 7:30 pm.  The fireworks display is in tune with story and music.  This is a must see experience as well.

Ngong Ping Cable Car

Another must experience tourist attraction of Hong Kong is the Ngong Ping Cable Car, The Ngong Ping Village, and the Giant Buddha.  To reach Ngong Ping, first you have to take a train ride to Tung Chung Station, after a brief walk you will reach the Ngong Ping Cable Car entrance.  Buy your tickets there, and enjoy the ride and the view.  Upon reaching the end, you ill now be in Ngong Ping Village.  Then after a brief walk you

The Giant Bronze Buddha of Lantau

will be at the footsteps of the stairs of the Giant Buddha.  To reach the upper area you have to take the steps up to the foot of the Giant Buddha statue.  There are 268 steps, which will bring you to one of the five large Buddha statues in China.  You will see six smaller statues, upon reaching the top of the stairs, these six statues are called “The Offering of the Six Devas.”  The Giant Buddha is 34 metres (112 ft) tall, weighs 250 metric tons (280 short tons), and was the world’s tallest outdoor bronze seated Buddha prior to 2007.  It reputedly can even be seen from as far away as Macau on a clear day.  I will bog about my Macau adventures soon, so watch out.

A visit to Hong Kong would not be compete,

View from The Peak at night

without visiting The Peak.  The Peak, is Hong Kong’s most popular attraction which offers more than just stunning vistas or great shopping and dining.  To get to The Peak, you could either walk, or take a taxi to The Peak Tram Station Lower Terminus at Garden Road., Central.  The lower terminus offer a brief history of how The Peak Tram came to be.  The Peak Tram travels at an incline of 45 degrees or more, so better hold on to your seats.  Upon reaching the top, you will be welcomed

Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

by shops offering memorabilia’s of Hong Kong, and The Peak.  These shops also offers for sale Chinese costumes, and T-shirts.  There are a number of attractions at The Peak, one of which is the Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, the famous wax museum featuring famous wax replicas of celebrities.  Another attraction is the Sky Terrace, which offer you a view of Hong Kong, it would be better if you visit this place on a clear night, as the views would be stunning at night.  Then there are various cafes, shops, and restaurants, one of which is the famous Bubba Gump Shrimp Company & Market, this was made famous by the Forrest Gump movie.  The restaurant also offer souvenirs for sale, so you could take home some of your Hong Kong experience.

Also you could try the R66 Revolving Restaurant in Hopewell Centre, located in Wanchai. And Lan Kwai Fong, which is located in Central.  This concludes this part of my blog.  Till next time.  So do watch out!

Glorious Guangzhou!

May 29, 2010 — 2 Comments

Our room at Chime Long Hotel

Upon the mention of Guangzhou, what first comes to my mind is affordable fashion, electronics, DVD’s, games, etc.  I wouldn’t have thought that Guangzhou would have a great hotel, theme park, and attractions.  Since I usually go to Guangzhou to attend the Canton Fair, all I see is the Canton Fair area, my hotel, restaurant, and nothing else.  We were introduced to this theme park, by Ocean Park Hong Kong.  Ocean Park Hong Kong, helped developed this marvelous theme park.

Chime Long Hotel Entrance

We took the inter-city through train from Hung Hom, which is located in the Kowloon Peninsula of Hong Kong, to Guangzhou, China.  We took the 10:42 am train, which would be arriving at the Guangzhou East station at around 12:30, which was exact timing, as our hotel reservation would be available by 2:00 pm.  We made a reservation at the Chime Long Hotel, which was according to their website, their premium hotel.  We also found out that the hotel had a complimentary shuttle service, from the

The Lobby of Chime Long Hotel

train station to the hotel, and back.  When we saw the hotel, we thought that we were transported to an exclusive South African hotel.  That was our initial thought as the hotel was made to appear like an exclusive Safari hotel.  The lobby was as grand as the exterior, there were no fancy chandeliers, but what replaced it was a huge pillar of rock, etched with animal like sculptures, which was incidentally the check in counter.  The hotel was so big, it had two wings, the old wing and the new wing, but as massive as the other.  We were assigned into the new wing, where you have to walk a bit to reach your wing, passing a mini waterfalls.  We didn’t expect that the rooms would be uber spacious.  In the middle of the room was the “Queen,” a queen size bed, that seems to look like 2 queen size bed, in which it could sleep 4 people.  While on the side of the room was a double deck bed, impeccably decorated with animal patterns, which was to sleep at least 3 children, as the lower bed would be able to sleep 2, and the upper bed 1.  The bathroom and wardrobe area, was equally spacious.  And there was a huge window, in which you could view almost the entire hotel complex.

Watch out for the Camels!

What we first visited, as suggested by the ticket counter lady at the hotel, was the Xiangjiang Safari Park.  Xiangjiang Safari Park is considered the largest animal park in Asia.  This park features animals in an open area setting, and features different animals, from all parts of the world.  There are Giraffes, Deers, Antelopes, Camels, Pandas, Wolves, Tiger, Lions, Elephants, and a lot more.  Besides the open area, the park offers an area wherein the dangerous animals are kept in enclosures for the safety

Feeding a White Tiger Cub.

of the public.  The park also offers the public, to have interactions with the animals, wherein the public can feed the animals with a minimal fee, such as Giraffes, Tiger Cubs, Lion Cubs, Parrots, etc.  My son could not resist his excitement, that he asked me kindly pay for him, so he could feed a White Tiger cub.  Besides the Safari, and the zoo, the park also offers shows such as the epic story Journey to the West, featuring the Monkey King, Tripitaka, Sandy, and Pigsy.  They also have an Elephant show, wherein the Pachyderms performed various tricks.

What a ride!

We visited Chime Long Paradise, the next day.  It is a theme park dedicated to wild rides, with one even included in the Guinness Book of World Records for it’s 10 loops; shows, and kid’s amusement.  There are 8 different zones inside the theme park, offering everyone a different thrilling experience.  Among the areas we visited were the Action Arena, which featured a live, heart pounding, action blazing show, in where you seem to be experiencing a live action movie recording, with matching

Chime Long International Circus

explosions, and searing fire; Happy Kingdom, which is basically rides for kids and adults, wherein we tried the Sky Bike, in which you pedal to make the Sky Bike move, while hanging in mid air; Performance Centre Plaza, where the White Tiger Show was held; and a lot more.  We were suggested to go back to the hotel and have our dinner first, then attend the Chime Long International Circus during the evening.  Chime Long International Circus, has a variety of shows, with a variety of different performers, coming form all parts of the world.  There were also animal performers such as Black Bears, Hippopotamus, Chimpanzees, Orangutans, Pigs, Goats, and a lot more.

A Baby Crocodile!

On our third day we visited the Guangzhou Crocodile Park, which features as the name imply, a large number of crocodiles.  These crocodiles are commercially farmed, for their meat, teeth, skin, and other organs, that can be used, either as medicine or ornaments.  We saw houses upon houses, teeming with different sized crocodiles, from juvenile to adult.  Plus they had a section where in crocodile eggs were incubated, until they hatched into baby crocodiles.  We also saw how they butchered the crocodiles, and take whatever they can from it.  It also features shows, such as the Sea Lion Show, and the Crocodile Show.  Plus there are parts of the park, wherein you can get photo opportunities.

Motorola DynaTac

I use to have a Motorola Rokr e8, which was a great phone for me.  I liked it as it was multi functional for me.  I could send SMS, make a call, send a MMS, listen to radio, and listen to my music.  I have had a lot of different mobile phones through the years.  I have had Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Siemens, and Alcatel.  But my very first phone was a Motorola, which if you use it now, would be considered an antique.  It was a Motorola DynaTac, it was rather a huge and heavy phone, but it was considered a technological advancement during it’s time.

Apple iPhone

Fast forward to the future, and now I have the iPhone 3G, which when it was launched, was touted as a world’s first.  I got my iPhone, as a gift from my wife, for my birthday.  At first I was frustrated, as I didn’t know how to use it.  The iPhone has a lot of functions, which you would need to learn to use.  But as time passed, I started liking the phone for it’s function, and style.  You would be considered “in,” if you own an iPhone.  The good thing, which I found out later, was that having an iPhone, was like having a laptop, a PDA, and a phone rolled into one.  You can check your e-mails, browse the web, set your appointments, make notes, record interviews, send MMS, sens SMS, make a call, play games, listen to music, and a lot more.  Now the iPhone has become an indispensable tool for me, for which if I lose it, my world would crumble.  All my contacts, notes, etc., are in the phone, so the thought of losing it makes me shiver.  Apple has come out with the Apple iPhone 3GS, which now has a video function, and will be dishing out a further enhanced models in the near future, offering God knows what improvements.  Curse you Steve Jobs, for creating an addiction!

Exotic Thailand

May 29, 2010 — Leave a comment

Dolphin World in Safari World Bangkok

Sawasdee! We have been to Bangkok, Thailand a couple of times already.  What we love about this place, is that people you would see, would have a ready smile on their face.  We have been always warned not to take the Tuk Tuk in Thailand, as they are most of the time unreliable.  But we love coming to this place, the food is great, the people are hospitable and smiling, the shops and bargains abound, plus the relaxing traditional Thai massage.  Plus it is not so expensive here, the prices are just like back in my homeland, the Philippines.

Lions feeding

Among one of our trips to Bangkok, we visited the The Safari World Bangkok.  As both me and my son are avid animal lovers, we made sure we visited this safari theme park.  We saw a lot of animals here.  There were Lions, Tigers, Ligers (Lion-Tiger breed), deers, giraffes, camels, etc.  The fun thing is you ride a bus, and the bus strolls along an open type safari, wherein sometimes the animals come close to the bus.  The scary thing was when the bus stopped at the Lion and

Tiger’s Pride

Tiger area, while they were feeding.  Besides a safari, this theme park also has a marine park, a stunt attraction show, and many more.  In the marine park, there is a performance by a member of the whale family, not a dolphin, but a real whale.  Also there is the Polar Bear.  The stunt attraction show is like a live action movie, where you feel and hear everything, like you are part of the movie.  The is also the Sofa Gardens.

Aquarium Car

Another good place to see is at the basement of Siam Paragon, a massive shopping complex, which houses the Siam Ocean World, billed as the largest aquarium in South East Asia.  This is like Ocean Park Hong Kong for Hong Kong, and Manila Ocean Park for the Philippines.  This houses marine animals such as penguins, Giant Spider Crabs, and Grey Nurse Shark, just to name a few.  It also has a “car aquarium,” where in a car was turned into a giant aquarium for fresh water fishes.  Plus after you finish, you could go shopping, or have a bite in the shopping mall complex.  A must see for every animal lover.

Jippy Japan!

May 29, 2010 — Leave a comment

Tokyo Disneyland/Tokyo Disney Sea Complimentary Shuttle

Kon’nichiwa! Which means Hello in Japanese.  We had a blast on our Japan tour.  We visited Tokyo, and Osaka.  We took a package deal offered by Cathay Pacific Holidays, which turned out to be a great idea.  Japan has a lot to offer tourist, may you be an avid shopper, electronic buff, or just want to sight see.

Our first leg was in Tokyo, Japan.  We were billeted at the Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo.  The hotel is billed as a top notch hotel, where diplomats, and celebrities check in.  The hotel was huge, it’s lobby is magnificent.  Another

Tokyo Disneyland Giant Mickey Passport

bonus was that there was a free shuttle service to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea, that is you have to reserve seats for a scheduled time.  Our first day was spent, strolling nearby our hotel, so we know where the restaurants, convenience store, shopping malls, and other necessities are.  We visited the subway near our hotel, and asked for instructions on how to go to Osaka by bullet train.  Then we met some friends for dinner, and had to retire early, as we have to wake up the next morning, for our Tokyo Disneyland adventure.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

We woke up at around 7:30 am, and prepared everything we need for the trip.  We staggered to the hotel lobby at around 8:00 am.  We were quite excited.  The bus finally came at 8:15 am, which was on time.  It looked like an eternity waiting for the bus.  Anyway we’re off after the last passenger boarded the bus.  The travel time from our hotel to Tokyo Disneyland was around an hour.  Upon arrival the park was still closed, it was due to open at 9:30 am.  There were already a

Splash Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland

lot of people waiting at the entrance.  One word to the wise, Japanese people are strict.    You have to be waiting in line, otherwise you go to the back of the line, which we found out the hard way.  Anyway, when the park opened we were like children, who happen to be in paradise or heaven.  If you happen to visit Tokyo, then definitely you have to visit Tokyo Disneyland.  The park was huge, and spacious, far from Hong Kong Disneyland.  We spent the whole day taking rides, watching shows/parades, and enjoying the experience.  When the day was finished, we were too tired to eat out, that we ordered room service instead.  Our feet were aching, and our body tired.  After dinner, we have to prepare to go to bed, as we have another early start the next day.

Sebastian’s Calypso Kitchen

The next day we found ourselves in Tokyo Disney Sea.  This park is similar to Tokyo Disneyland, but differs in the sense that it is water inspired.  There was a huge lagoon in the middle of the park.  We saw pirates, mermaids, and sea creatures of all kinds.  We saw Ariel in the Little Mermaid, ate at Sebastian’s Calypso Kitchen.  The main attraction of the park, is the show in the middle of the lagoon.  It was quite spectacular! As in we went WOW! Again we saw ourselves tired to

Captain Mickey Mouse at Tokyo Disney Sea

the bone, like the day before.  This time we ate dinner out and early, as we had to prepare for our transfer to Osaka.

Snoopy a.k.a. Joe Cool

For our tour to Osaka, we had to wake up at 6:00 am, as there was a scheduled train we had to catch, otherwise we don’t have reserved seats.  Boy was the train fast.  We took in the views, and even saw the fantabulous Mount Fuji, with it’s snow capped top.  We

Spiderman The Ride at Universal Studios Japan

went to Universal Studios Japan, which is in Osaka.  Upon arrival in Osaka, we met up with a friend, who has been in Japan for some time already.  He was our tour guide.  This was our first visit to an Universal Studio theme park.  Outside the park you can already see, Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the rest of the Peanut characters.  Inside there were the Terminator, Spiderman, Back to the Future, and other rides and attractions.  There was a few rain patches, but that didn’t dampen our excitement.  We also watched a stunt show, Water World, with matching explosion, and heart pounding action.  Before you know it, the day was over, and we had to head back to Tokyo.  But before heading back, we decided to have our dinner in Osaka, with our friend, and catch up on old times.  It was sad to say goodbye to a friend, and to Osaka.  But we assured ourselves, that we will be back.

Universal Studios Japan

On our fourth and final day, we spent roaming Tokyo, and enjoying the sights.  We saw shops, electronic emporiums, etc.  Then we had to head back to the hotel, to get ready for the shuttle to the airport.

We said goodbye to Japan, as the plane taxied out of the runway.  Sayonara Japan.

Singapore Zoo

Our first time to Singapore was an adventure.  My son loves this place as people here can speak English, a language he understands and speaks.  What we noticed was Singapore was impeccably clean.  Another thing was that chewing gum was not allowed in this city state, which gave us something to think about.  It’s virtually safe in Singapore, may it be day or night.

Upon arrival, passing Immigration, and picking up our luggage, we took a taxi to our hotel, which was Hotel Miramar.  The hotel was okay, nothing fancy.  The rooms were spacious though.  Upon formally check in and leaving our luggage in the room.  The first thing on our mind, was to go to Orchard Road, which is a shopping mall strip.  There were high end malls, one of them was the Paragon.  This is where you will find high fashion.  We ate at the food stalls in the markets.  It was delicious! In the evening we went to Singapore Night Safari.  This was our first night safari.  We didn’t know what to expect.  But everything was a fun experience.

Sentosa Island

The next day we decided to take the cable car to Sentosa Island.  This is where Singapore’s beaches are found.  Also where you can find the Underwater World Singapore.  This is Singapore’s version of Ocean Park Hong Kong.  As they say, you cannot compare same attractions, because each one has it’s own charms.  We also saw some peacocks and wild life around Sentosa.  Then we went to see some of Singapore’s famous landmarks, such as the Merlion Statue, and of course the Esplanade, the building that looks like a giant Durian fruit.

Wild Wild & Wet

On our third day, we spent the whole day at Wild Wild Wet, which is a water inspired theme park.  There are various things to do here; there is the Tsunami, an artificial wave pool, for the surfers and surf lovers; then there is the, Ular-Lah, a raft slide which can seat up to five adults; then there is the, Shiok River, which is a waterway which takes you around the park, and a lot more.  Our son love this place so much, that he cried when we told him the park was closing for the day, and we need to go back to the hotel.

On the fourth day it was time to head back home.

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